The Virtuoso can also make:
- Jams and jellies.
- Doughs for everything from pizza to pastries.
- Sourdough Starters.
- And of course, bread.
Featuring a unique heating element in the top of the unit, every loaf comes out of the Virtuoso with a browned crust, not just the sides and bottom. It’s one of the design features that uniquely defines this bread machine.
The control panel is integrated with a digital clock that will allow you to set a timer to bake your bread up to 13 hours in advance, and the LCD panel makes it easy to read and not only determine completion time but navigate the menu.
The Customer Ratings are High
Customers have been very positive about this product and the ratings consistently score high. According to a Virtuoso owner:
“Absolutely incredible that such bread can come from a machine. A well kneaded, proofed and baked loaf has many benefits. Less yeast, better texture and better slicing.”
Gluten Free Baking
Bread making is about more than the average daily loaf. Zojirushi has designed a full course of gluten free recipes that bring baked bread to the table for many people concerned about conditions like Celiac or other gluten related issues.
“It has my ‘GLUTEN FREE’ setting and is so quiet I have to get up close to it to make sure its mixing or kneading”
Two Paddle Design Kneads Dough More Efficiently
Most bread machines use one paddle to mix and knead the dough. The Virtuoso has two kneading paddles that knead the dough faster and more thoroughly than single paddle machines. This also helps during the rising cycle.
For some Virtuoso owners this two-paddle design was a key reason for buying:
“The Virtuoso has the best paddle design of any machine I have ever seen. The two-paddle low profile design mixes well.”
Some customers have found that the two paddles can result in a lopsided bread in smaller loaf sizes like 1 pound as opposed to the larger 1.5 and 2 pound settings. Zojirushi recommends that the paddles be aligned in the pan if that’s a problem, and that having them in alignment should distribute the dough evenly before rising.
Unique Top-browning Element
Zojirushi added a top-browning element in the lid to create uniform browning over the top of the loaf. It works equally well for 1 pound, 1-1/2 pound and 2 pound settings. For many Virtuoso owners it’s the one feature they like the most:
“The crust is just right – not tough or hard; the top is golden and even; every loaf and every cake, whether complex or simple, has been almost freakishly flawless.”
Broad Range of Baking Options and Pre-Programmed Settings
The Virtuoso offers a large set of pre-programmed baking cycle and course options. There are three crust shades and 10 pre-programmed settings including: Basic, Basic Wheat, Basic Dough, Quick, Quick Wheat, Quick Dough, Jam, Cake, Sour Dough Starter, and 3 homemade menu options. While most Virtuoso owners still focus on bread, many have been pleasantly surprised by the some of the unique options such as cake and jam:
“Made fresh strawberry jam the other evening which is to die for.”
Very Good Performance with Whole Wheat and Home-Milled Flours
It should be no surprise that a breadmaker can produce a good loaf, but many of them don’t perform as well when rustic flours like Home-Milled, rice flour or whole wheat are in the recipe. The Virtuoso seems to have found the solution through it’s pre-programmed settings, and the two-paddle design also ensures complete blending and kneading. Another owner was not only pleased by the result of his first loaf but mentioned the advantage of the large viewing window on the top of the machine and the double handles on the loaf pan.
“It was simple and fun. Couldn’t stop looking through the view window. It was beautiful. I’d pay $5 for the wheat loaf I made in a store. I also like the double handle design on the loaf pan a lot. Much easier to deal with for both using and cleaning.”
Stable and Quiet Operation
Many owners appreciate the stability of the machine, particularly during kneading; its quiet operation and the traditional shape and length of the loaf the Virtuoso produces.
“What I really like is that unlike all the others which are vertical loaf style, this one produces a horizontal loaf with a more traditional internal structure and crumb.”
Stability has a downside as well. The Virtuoso is a heavy machine weighing in at 27 pounds. It’s light enough to lift and move but you’ll need two hands to do it. Most owners find a dedicated spot and keep the unit in that location. Its power cord is only 3 feet long so any location will need to have an electrical outlet in close proximity.
Zojirushi’s Bread Maker Common Questions
The Virtuoso is Building Quite a Following
The reputation of the Virtuoso continues to grow and so does its following. Beyond the people who simply like to bake their own bread; people who pursue gluten free diets, bake with whole grains or home-mill their own grains are turning to the Home Bakery Virtuoso.
The model number for the Zojirushi Home Bakery Virtuoso is BB-PAC20. It measures 18 x 10-1/2 x 12-7/8 inches. It’s electrical rating is 120 volts at 700 watts and is available in black.